About Us

As the world was forced to shelter in place and in the early days of the pandemic, herself forced into unemployment, Jennifer Ridgway recognized how her artistry could serve the community. She began presenting drama sessions in the yards of her neighbors to help young children overcome loneliness and enter into imaginary play. Morgan Charéce and Penny Russell were inspired to join Jennifer and respond to the community's needs and YARD DRAMAS was born.

We are committed to arts education and creative life-long learning for all. And as proud Prince George's County residents, our goal is to help our community rebuild and reimagine in the post-pandemic.

Join the journey! Come outside. Play with us.

Learn more about our programs

Let's imagine together!

COVID COMMUNITY AND SAFETY RESPONSE

  • Meet community wherever they are.
  • Trained to work with babies to revered elders. We have over half a century of experience among our team!
  • Desire to share strategies with teens to optimize their potential as leaders and change-makers in their community.
  • Engage youth of all ages with arts integration to support gaps in learning caused by virtual schooling.
  • Enrich the lives of elders with storytelling and theatre-making.
  • Adherence to local and state safety precautions and reopening guidelines. (We wear masks and maintain 6' of distance.)
  • Advance through a 4-Stage Program Plan as safety standards change.

FEE POLICY

Yard Dramas are accessible to everyone regardless of their financial resources and circumstances. Our fees recognize differences in wealth, income and privilege within our community and simultaneously keep us, teaching artists in the community, employed. This is a delicate balance and it requires all of us re-setting and re-defining our values.

Historically, teaching artists have been undervalued. We believe we bring value to the community. Check out the Teaching Artist Guild's Pay Calculator. We understand that you may not be able to meet the suggested fees. Your awareness alone will move the field of teaching artistry forward, and help our society recognize pay equity as a social justice issue.

OUR DREAMS

Our 4-Staged Program Plan takes us from the individual creative exploration to a collaborative and professional community performance that tells our collective story of resilience and innovation.

STAGE ONE: EXPLORE & PLAY

Our team works with individual households and families in private and public yards. These sessions for all ages are experiential and invite playmaking. Our team is flexible and adaptable as we tailor our programs to meet the needs of our participants.

STAGE TWO: DEFINE & IMAGINE

When local and state safety guidelines permit, we will identify community sites situated across Prince George’s County. These sites will take place in schools, libraries, community centers and within businesses and municipalities. Each site will unpack pandemic and resiliency stories that are known in their communities. Participants will explore performance techniques to tell the stories as an ensemble that invites the audience to share more stories!

STAGE THREE: WRITE & REHEARSE

Committed participants will be invited to participate in a long-term community project where we weave the community stories into a script that they will write in collaboration with their community.

STAGE FOUR: PERFORM & REFLECT

And when it is safe, our community ensemble will perform their fully realized production in the yards where this journey began!

We imagine this project will raise awareness of the rich and diverse stories in Prince George's County and also help us to reflect on our collective experience of the concurrent pandemics and how the lessons learned during this time shaped us personally and transformed our community.

CONTACT US